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Video Game: Turrican
Welcome to Turrican!

"Hello and welcome to Turrican! Be my guest! Another day, another try, but remember: SHOOT! OR! DIE!!! HA HA HA HA HA HA HA!"
— The intro on the Commodore 64

Turrican is a video game series that got started by Manfred Trenz, and was first released on the Commodore 64, but was arguably popular on its successor, the Amiga.

It's The Future, and mankind has spread into space. Their sole protection from the scum of the universe is the United Planets Freedom Forces and its armored champion, Turrican. The person wearing the mantle of Turrican varies, as do the villains, though a frequent foe is the evil cyborg/Galactus impersonator known as The Machine.

The series borrows elements of Super Mario Bros.., Contra, Metroid and Psycho-Nics Oscar. The games were developed by the now defunct company Factor 5. The levels themselves were massive with lots of secrets to find, like hidden power-up blocks and extra lives. Also, bosses at times didn't necessarily appear at the end of levels. They would show up in the middle of levels, and even the beginning at times. It also has an awesome soundtrack.

  • Turrican (Commodore 64, Amiga, Atari ST, Amstrad CPC, ZX Spectrum, Mega Drive/Genesis, Game Boy)
  • Turrican II: The Final Fight (Commodore 64, Amiga, Atari ST, Amstrad CPC, ZX Spectrum, Mega Drive/Genesis*, Game Boy*, PC)
  • Mega Turrican/Turrican 3: Payment Day (Mega Drive/Genesis, Amiga)
  • Super Turrican (NES**)
  • Super Turrican (SNES***)
  • Super Turrican 2 (SNES)

  • (*) Released as Universal Soldier
  • (**) Manfred Trenz game
  • (***) Factor 5 game

Although the parent company abandoned the series well over a decade ago, the series' cult status has inspired numerous fan-made sequels, such as T2002, the exceptionally professional-looking Hurrican and the Game Gear game GGT.

This game contains examples of the following:

  • Asteroids Monster: Spiky bouncing metal balls.
  • Ambidextrous Sprite
  • Animesque: The intro's of the Amiga versions of Turrican 2 as well as Turrican 3 are this.
  • Arch-Enemy: The Machine since the second game.
  • Auto-Scrolling Level: The alien train sections in Mega Turrican/Turrican 3 and Super Turrican (SNES game).
    • The second phase of the final boss in Super Turrican 2 combines this with Outrun the Fireball.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: A special Smart Bomb attack in the second game. While in Wheel Form, press the fire button and space button together and he'll fire rapidly with all of his weapons and destroy everything on screen with an explosion. It's not really useful, though, and once you've used it the only way to get it back is to lose a life.
  • Bishounen Line: A series-spanning example with Big Bad The Machine. In his first two final boss appearances he's bigger than the screen, but in the honest-to-goodness final showdown in Super Turrican 2, he's the size of the protagonist yet somehow twice as hard to dodge and able to absorb considerably more damage than before.
  • Chain Reaction Destruction: Bosses in the series do chain explosions upon destruction.
  • Chainsaw Good: Wheel mode in the first two games is very much this.
  • Clothes Make the Superman: If the crew in the intro of Turrican II had one-man-army super suits on board, why didn't anyone put them on during the (narrated) lengthy wait between the arrival of the enemy battleship and the boarding?
  • Collision Damage: Every game has this, combined with an overabundance of Personal Space Invader mooks. The Metroidesque wheel mode lets you reverse the Collision Damage, however.
  • Convection Schmonvection: The final levels of Super Turrican 2 take place dangerously close to the sun. Then again, you just survived an Unrealistic Black Hole...
    • Stage 4 of Hurrican.
  • Cutscene Incompetence: Twice in Super Turrican 2. After killing a giant sandworm from inside its mouth, Turrican is inexplicably overpowered by the same guards he'll be killing by the dozens later on. Later, after killing a giant space spider, he's captured by mercenaries.
  • Dolled-Up Installment: Turrican II was released as a Universal Soldier tie-in on the Mega Drive/Genesis and Game Boy. See Porting Disaster on the YMMV page for more.
  • Down the Drain: World 2 in Turrican, Turrican II and Mega Turrican/Turrican 3.
  • Drought Level of Doom: World 4 in the original. Due to a certain limitation in the preceding level you're not likely to have a fully leveled spread shot, which makes it incredibly difficulty to find the few invisible item blocks there are.
  • Elevator Action Sequence: In World 1 of Mega Turrican/Turrican 3.
    • The fan game Hurrican has an entire level based around it.
  • Eternal Engine: Some of the later levels and worlds are like this.
  • Excuse Plot: Most of the series. Why does Morgul the god of nightmares have a robot army? We didn't ask and neither should you.
  • The Federation: The United Planets Freedom Forces, consisting entirely of Red Shirts and one Sole Survivor in a Turrican suit.
  • Gameplay Roulette: Super Turrican 2.
  • Giant Hands of Doom: One of the early level bosses from the first game is a giant mechanical fist flying around trying to crush the player. It shows up in some of the later games as well.
  • Giant Mook: Numerous bosses are simply oversized versions of regular enemies. Of note are the giant Walkers in the second and third game.
  • Golden Ending: In Turrican 3 by completing the game without cheating and in Super Turrican 2 by finishing the game on Hard difficulty level.
  • Goomba Stomp: The Walker robots from Turrican II onward let you one-hit kill them by jumping on them. The same robots appeared in the first game, but stomping did nothing until the sequel.
  • Grappling-Hook Pistol: The Plasma Rope in Mega Turrican/Turrican 3 and the Grapple Hand in Super Turrican 2.
  • Humongous Mecha: Some of the bosses.
  • It's All Upstairs From Here: The last section before the final boss will always require a vertical ascent up a dozen screens. Noticeably absent in Super Turrican 2.
  • Kill It with Fire: The flamethrower weapon in Super Turrican 2.
  • Lantern Jaw of Justice: Bren McGuire in the opening of Mega Turrican/Turrican III, though it's a case of Off Model.
  • Law of 100: Collecting 300 gems gave a continue; Turrican II reduced this to 100.
  • Laser Cutter: The intro to the first game shows a laser or heat ray cutting a rectangle from the black background. The piece falls out, and the developer's logo (Rainbow Arts) becomes visible. This is a reference to a special ability the in-game character has in most of the games. See it here.
  • Load-Bearing Boss: Killing the final boss always causes their base to spectacularly explode.
  • Marathon Level: The Womb Level, in every game it appears, will be up to twice as long as the previous World, and usually filled to the brim with detours and lengthy backtracking every time you miss a jump.
  • Mascot Mook: The Walkers are the first enemy you'll face in the first two games, and the only one to appear in every game in the series. Turrican II added several variations, including flying ones and a factory churning out gigantic versions that shout "Make my day!" when they appear onscreen.
  • The Maze: World 4 in Turrican is a massive three part maze with creepy ambient sound instead of the Crowning Music of Awesome featured everywhere else. Power-ups are much harder to find, and dozens of pixel-perfect (and sometimes entirely illogical) jumps are required to reach the exit. All of the womb levels in the sequels have similar length and difficulty, but later entries are more forgiving by having an Exit arrow appear if you get lost.
  • Metroidvania: Not necessarily one, but close. You proceed through levels in a linear fashion, but there's lots of different paths and secrets to find like giant power up boxes and groups of extra lives. Mega Turrican/Turrican 3 Super Turrican 2's levels were nothing but linear, though.
  • Mook Carryover: Big Bad The Machine from Turrican II onwards inherits a few of Morgul's robotic minions from the first game, including the aforementioned Mascot Mook.
  • Morph Weapon: Electric arcs? Lasers bigger than the wielder? Multi-directional fire from a straight barrel? Smart bombs? Freeze ray? You want it, you got it.
  • Nintendo Hard: Every of these series' installment is being either pretty close to this, or purely this, no matter whether this is an official game or a fan remake.
  • No Sidepaths, No Exploration, No Freedom: Every level in Super Turrican 2 except one, which is a common source of criticism - considering that the wide open levels with tons of secrets were one of the main strengths of the series.
  • Nostalgia Level: World 3, the junkyard of Mega Turrican/Turrican 3 has you fight broken-down versions of the first bosses from Turrican and Turrican II.
  • Personal Space Invader: The face huggers in Turrican II and Mega Turrican/Turrican 3. Turning left and right rapidly cause them to drop off and die.
    • Or turning into a ball if you have any energy for it.
  • Platform Game: Oft considered to be the best game of the genre for the Amiga.
  • Powered Armor
  • Rearrange the Song: Super Turrican for the NES has some remixed tracks of the first two games, and Super Turrican for the SNES has mostly rearrangements of Mega Turrican/Turrican 3 music.
  • Recurring Boss: A couple of games have some bosses from previous games, such as the Monolith boss.
  • Reformulated Game:
    • Turrican originally began development as a Commodore 64 game by Rainbow Arts. Factor 5, who were working on the Amiga version, originally planned their version as a straight port, but then they decided to make it an original game inspired by the C64 version.
    • Turrican 2 was developed the same way as well, only this time the Amiga version was the original and the C64 version was the adaptation.
    • Similarly Super Turrican was released for consoles in two versions. While the NES version handled by Rainbow Arts, the SNES version was done by Factor 5.
  • Rolling Attack: Turrican's signature ability is his ability to transform into a spiky energy wheel that can destroy many things in its rolling path. This ability was also featured in the Universal Soldier video game, which was a dolled-up Turrican II.
  • Sand Worm: You fight one from inside its mouth at the end of World 1 in Super Turrican 2.
  • Schizophrenic Difficulty: A successful playthrough of Turrican 1 consists of stocking up as many extra lives as possible before reaching World 4, then finishing the significantly more merciful final world with however many you have left. There's even 3 extra lives and enough laser power-ups to max out your weapon hidden in plain view to the right of World 5's starting point, as if the developers knew how badly beaten the player would be at that point.
  • Scifi Writers Have No Sense Of Scale: The intro for Turrican 3 states that "Eons have passed since mankind last heard of the evil Machine". Which would mean that Bren McGuire, purple haired protagonist from the previous game is now billions of years old. The writers should probably just have said "Ages have passed..."
  • Shout-Out:
    • The title screen of Turrican is an edited cover of Manowar's album Kings of Metal. Given the music, it's a deliberate aesthetic choice.
    • Turrican 2 has a drone flying past your ship in one of the flying levels with a banner saying, "Katakis Lives!"
    • Every Turrican game but Super Turrican 2 had one level taking place in an Alien hive, complete with face-huggers, Xenomorphs and even an Alien Queen as the endboss in Super Turrican.
    • Super Turrican (SNES version) also took place on a planet called Katakis. In both cases, Katakis is an R-Type clone Manfred Trenz worked on.
  • Skippable Boss: Turrican II has a sort of flying saucer on stage 1-2 which you have to go out of your way to fight. However, if you do, you are rewarded with 4 extra lives when you kill him.
  • Slippy-Slidey Ice World: World 3 in Super Turrican (SNES game).
  • Smart Bomb
    • The Power Lines you collect, though Mega Turrican/Turrican 3 and Super Turrican 2 had standard smart bombs to use.
    • In Turrican, the grenade (but only if it hits a wall), and the mine (only against ground targets).
  • A Space Marine Is You
  • Spread Shot: The "Multiple" (and in some games, "Laser") is an Initial Burst, while "Bounce" is an Exploding Shot.
  • Techno Wreckage: If the last level isn't an Eternal Engine, expect it to be this.
  • Timed Mission: Super Turrican (NES game) is the only game with no time limit.
  • True Final Boss: In Mega Turrican/Turrican 3 and Super Turrican 2, by playing on at least the Normal difficulty level.
  • Under the Sea: Super Turrican 2 had a the third world take place on an ocean planet with some underwater portions.
  • Unexpected Genre Change: Super Turrican 2 had every odd level as this to utilize Mode 7 effects.
  • Unexpected Shmup Level: Worlds 3-1 and 3-3 in Turrican, and the Commodore 64 version of Turrican II's final stage. In all three levels, you needed to find a hidden item to start the level, but this was changed in later ports. However, later versions of Turrican II changed it to a platform jumping stage.
    • Super Turrican 2 also had one in the first stage of the last world, but it was overhead instead of side-scrolling and used Mode 7 effects similar to Konami's Axelay.
  • Unrealistic Black Hole: Subverted. Three ships enter the black hole to stop the machine in Super Turrican 2. Your ship survives out of luck and crash lands on a desert planet while the other two are destroyed.
  • The Very Definitely Final Dungeon: The final confrontation with The Machine takes place onboard his flagship in low orbit over the sun of a solar system inside a black hole in Super Turrican 2.
  • You Gotta Have Purple Hair: Bren McGuire.
  • Womb Level: Either the last world or the second-to-last world.

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alternative title(s): Turrican
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